Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Ron Clark

Second Advisor

Phil Carnes


The Lord took Ezekiel to the Valley of Dry Bones and asked him, “Son of Man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Many churches in the large metropolitan cities of North America are looking over the Valley of Dry Ministries and asking essentially the same question, “Can these ministries live again?” The decline of the church in large metropolitan cities of the United States has been dramatic. It is not an unusual sight to drive through a major city and see church buildings that were once filled with congregants either shuttered and repurposed or with only a small remnant of congregants remaining.

This dissertation will explore the causes of city church decline and consider a ministry approach that could lead, by God’s grace, to a season of congregational renewal. Section one examines the challenge of suburbanization, re-urbanization, and the post- Christian context. Section two will explore various general ministry approaches to mission in the city, some of which can be applied to a strategy for renewal. Section three will lay the theological and practical foundation for a model of church renewal that leverages the synergy of the attractional and incarnational impulses of the church. This section will include a discussion of leadership, change in the church, and ministry strategy.

Sections four and five provide details of a strategic guide for renewal for a city church, Downtown Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Section six will be the postscript. The Appendix will be the artifact.

Included in

Christianity Commons